MEDSTAT IV – Regional Workshop on Statistical business register and business surveys (Athens, 11-12.04.2017)

Business and economic surveys in the ENP-S countries

The work carried out by MEDSTAT IV regarding the sector of Business registers and statistics develops under two main themes. The first one concerns the creation and the regularly updating of the register itself and the second targets the design and implementation of business and economic surveys.

Most of the year 2016 has been concentrated on assessing the situation of the ENP-S countries in the area and on discussing the conditions for having a reliable and quality statistical business register. Such a register is crucial to draw samples of businesses on which the surveys may then be based. The workshop that was held in Athens on 11 and 12 of April focused on economic surveys.

Statisticians from the ENP-S countries specialised on business and economic surveys were gathered to exchange experience and to discuss the methodologies used by some European countries (France and Italy). Two EU experts, Mr Manlio Calzaroni (ISTAT – Italie) and Mr Jean Marc Beguin (INSEE – France) were invited to moderate the workshop and to answer to the specific questions raised by the ENP-S countries.

Several recommendations were made by the participants at the end of the workshop to improve the quality of their work and to design and to implement national action plans in this field of statistics. Among the issues that should be given more attention in the future are, among others, the following:

  • the drawing of representative samples, by sector and region, from the SBR. It may sometimes be necessary to replace one unit of the sample by another, due to a no reply or a false address,
  • Using when and where possible, for certain sectors, administrative sources instead of a more costly direct survey,
  • The use of technological tools to minimize errors and save time and personnel, such as (i) tablets for surveys instead of paper questionnaires requiring not only verification but also time and personnel for data entry, (Ii) appropriate software for the quality of responses, the detection of errors and their automatic correction,

The Italian experience regarding surveys of the informal sector was highly appreciated and strongly discussed. The participants expressed the wish to make a study visit to ISTAT (Italy) under the MEDSTAT IV project,

The afternoon of the second day of the workshop was dedicated to discussing the Arabic translation of the glossary of the United Nations SBR Development Manual. The translation of technical terms was reviewed in details and a consensus was reached for a final Arabic version.

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